In our day we highly esteem the value of religious tolerance. We want to guard against destructive conflict between religious fanatics and against totalitarian control of our society by one religion. We want to protect the freedom of all members of our society to hold their own religious convictions and to practice their faith without fear of attack or coercion from those of other religions.
Our religious tolerance may cause us to be offended by the sharp antitheses Paul draws between true and false religion in this section. But if we listen carefully to Paul's argument, we will find that he is defending the freedom of his readers from the coercive tactics of those who were forcing them to conform to a particular religious tradition. What we really find here is the basis for preserving true religious freedom. Paul's authoritative appeal is not an example of authoritarian religious tyranny, but just the opposite: it is a charter for genuine spiritual freedom.
In Galatians 5:1-12 Paul calls for his readers to protect their freedom (5:1-6). Then he exposes the false teachers who are robbing them of their freedom (5:7-12).
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
You've successfully created your account! For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!